In spite of various measures been taken to curb crime against women, by the government and several non-government agencies in the state of Assam, the district of Dhubri is witnessing a rising trend in the registration of cases related with atrocities against the fairer sex, in all its eight police stations.
In the year 2017, in an average more than 143 cases related to crime against women were registered in the eight police stations of the district, which is higher than the monthly average of 138 cases in 2016.
According to police reports, a total of 1724 cases like murder, rape, kidnapping, abduction, dowry death, dowry suicide, molestation, cruelty by husband, immoral trafficking etc of women were registered in the year 2017, while in the year 2016 the numbers were 1657.
Moreover, only in the month of January 2018, 112 such cases have already been registered by the police.
Of the kinds of cases, the women in the district mostly face is cruelty by their husband, as in the year 2017 almost 1034 cases related to such offence were registered.
Moreover, 363 cases of molestation, 192 cases of kidnapping and abduction and 102 cases of rape were record by the police.
However, police also say that these data could not give the full scenario of crime against women, as many cases are not complained to the police because of various reasons.
They also informed that there are also many cases registered under Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) 2012, where a girl child is the main victim.
If sources are to be believed the rate of child marriage is also very high in the district.
Talking to Northeast Now, author and women’s rights activist, Sultana Salima Ahmed said that the main reason for such rise in crime against women is illiteracy and poverty.
“The girl child of the families with lower income groups hardly goes to the school and even if they go, they hardly study till class 4-5. They get married at a very early stage and are treated as child producing machine,” said Ahmed.
She further added that under such circumstances, ‘how can we expect them to know their own rights’.
Moreover, they end up believing that cruelty to them is natural. They also grow up seeing such cruelty to other women around them, noted the author and rights activist.
Reacting on the issue of increase in crime against women, Assistant Professor of PB College and women’s rights activist, Parvin Sultana stated that, ‘while the condition of women have improved to a certain extent, empowerment in true sense will need much more work’.
She also said, “The increasing rate of crimes against women shows how safe spaces continue to be inaccessible to women. It limits women’s mobility, access to employment opportunities.”
Interestingly there is another method of victimization of women, she further elaborated adding, “In case there are land related conflicts, families try to frame each other in sexual harassment and molestation cases. The victims are again women who are used as pawns. And a few such instances shift the focus from genuine cases of abuse and harassment.”